Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Carter Stanley aims to improve upon mistakes made in Week 1 win

Kansas quarterback Carter Stanley (9) is sacked by Indiana State defensive lineman Henrik Barndt (92) during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019, in Lawrence, Kan. Kansas won 24-17. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Kansas quarterback Carter Stanley (9) is sacked by Indiana State defensive lineman Henrik Barndt (92) during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019, in Lawrence, Kan. Kansas won 24-17. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)


Of course Kansas quarterback Carter Stanley left the Jayhawks’ season opener pleased about winning the starting job and leading a must-have touchdown drive in crunch time.

At no point during Stanley’s postgame discussions with the media nor in his interview session on Monday, however, did the fifth-year senior come across as a QB elated or even satisfied by his performance.

In his first time entering a season as KU’s No. 1 QB, Stanley completed 20 of his 29 passes (68.9%) for 241 yards, and threw for two touchdowns without having an attempt intercepted.

However, Stanley proved fortunate with a handful of misfires — one intended for Andrew Parchment that should have been picked off in particular — and the QB was credited with two lost fumbles in the win over Indiana State. What’s more, one lateral pass that went down as a Dom Williams lost fumble actually was the result of Stanley overshooting his target in the backfield.

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One of Stanley’s fumbles could have cost KU a win in head coach Les Miles’ debut. That potential killer came with 4:24 left in the fourth quarter and Stanley trying to avoid three defenders that were closing in on him less than two seconds after catching a shotgun snap from center Andru Tovi.

Instinctively, the QB looked to get rid of the ball, but Kaleb Brewer’s pressure caused a sack and a fumble, and the Sycamores scooped up the turnover in the end zone as Stanley was slung to the turf a few yards away.

Looking back at that disastrous play, Stanley described it as unfortunate from start to finish.

“For whatever reason, we kind of had a lack of communication. And it turned into the play not being ran the way we practice it. It just completely changed the look that we had. And it obviously didn’t help that they brought a blitz that heavy,” Stanley said.

Two defenders came untouched into the backfield from Stanley’s left as he faked a handoff to Khalil Herbert. In the meantime, to his right, Brewer beat right tackle Clyde McCauley III on the edge.

“At the end of the day I was really just trying to throw it away, just get the ball out,” Stanley said. “They got to me pretty quick. It was unfortunate.”

Immediately following the defensive score that gave ISU a 17-16 lead, though, Stanley led KU on a 75-yard TD drive in 2:04. Senior receiver Daylon Charlot, who caught the go-ahead TD from the QB, said the Jayhawks respond well to Stanley, even when things aren’t going as planned.

“When Carter got the turnover, we were like, ‘Everything’s going to be all right,’” Charlot related. “Carter’s also been here for four or five years now and everybody respects him as a player and everybody knows he’s a great guy on and off the field.”

Even so, the problematic portions of Stanley’s showing are the moments that he will end up spending more time reviewing and addressing this week, as the Jayhawks prepare to play host to Coastal Carolina (6 p.m., ESPN+)

On Stanley’s other lost fumble in Week 1, the under-center exchange between the QB and Api Mane never made it firmly into Stanley’s hands on a 4th and 2 play late in the third quarter.

The Jayhawks, looking to extend a drive just outside the red zone and potentially create a comfortable lead by adding to their 16-3 margin, instead lost the ball, providing ISU with some momentum and leading to a TD drive for the visitors.

Following the botched snap, Stanley walked off the field next to Mane, patting the center on the back and offering words of encouragement.

“He’s got an incredibly hard job. He’s got a 300-pound nose tackle that he’s got to guard, and on those plays he’s in like a four-point stance,” Stanley said. “So I told him, ‘That’s me. I’ve got to get my hands further in there.’ It obviously wasn’t a good exchange and that’s something we can’t have happen in the future.”

According to Stanley he and the centers work on that “every day” in practice.

“I don’t think it should happen again,” the QB added.

Miles called Stanley “a team guy” after the win. And the coach followed up the compliment by disclosing that some issues the QB encountered were no fault of his own.

“It's not easy what we did, OK,” Miles said. “We put him out there and give him the wristband where at least two calls were — we had the wristband right but we didn't give him the calls properly, which will be easy to fix. But can you imagine standing in front of a stadium of people waiting for the big play and knowing that the big play was just sent in to your wristband and you're trying to make that look? He did some really, really good things.”

Reviewing the video of his start, Stanley shared, left him wanting to improve as a QB.

“Some things that can definitely be cleaned up,” KU’s QB said, adding he spoke to or texted with offensive teammates to address specific matters even before they entered their game week meetings and routines on Monday.

Stanley’s 161.53 passing efficiency rating ranked 36th nationally among FBS QBs for the week. His 8.3 yards per pass attempt ranked 41st.


Dirk Medema 2 years, 3 months ago

36th best but Ripped by some. It’s a shame he wasn’t perfect. Good to see that Coach stepped up to admit that they had goofed getting calls in. Not perfect but glad the WR also stepped up to make the big plays this year. What a difference a year makes. How many easy TD passes were dropped last year?

Ashwin Rao 2 years, 3 months ago

Are those wrist bands communication devices? That is so cool!

Kit Duncan 2 years, 3 months ago

The wristbands are not communication devices rather, they have a given number of plays the coaches intend to run on each possession. It makes it easier for coaches to signal a play to the QB who reads the wristband for the specifics. Different wristbands have different plays, requiring different signals.

Coach Miles referenced giving Carter the correct wristband but the play that was called from the sideline apparently was not the play he read from his wristband. Either he memorized the signals wrong or the coaches used the wrong signals and the plays subsequently didn’t succeed.

Dale Rogers 2 years, 3 months ago

I believe those are the electronic wristbands where coaches can highlights options they want the qb to see. Google it. I was not aware they are electronic until I googled it.

Brett McCabe 2 years, 3 months ago

@Dirk. Passing Efficiency isn’t everything and does not include a lost fumble for an ISU touchdown, a lost fumble for a drive killer and a created fumble for another drive killer. No one on this site ripped Stanley but his play was very uneven at best and almost cost us the game at worst.

Here’s hoping things improve dramatically this Saturday. I’ve always rooted for him and will continue to do so.

As a side note: The coaches also need to manage the clock better at the end of games. We completely botched it on the last offensive drive.

Dane Pratt 2 years, 3 months ago

I must of been watching a different game. If Carter had milked the clock for a few more seconds on third down instead of immediately taking a knee it would have been textbook. But it was easily corrected on 4th down. No big deal.

Dane Pratt 2 years, 3 months ago

I'm optimistic they will get this offense going in the right direction. They have all the parts, just need to get them on the same page. Carter is a better QB than what he showed Saturday and the mistakes made are fixable.

David Robinett 2 years, 3 months ago

I expect Carter will not make those laterals turned to fumble passes again this year.

Edward Daub 2 years, 3 months ago

To borrow a Yogi-ism, "we made too many wrong mistakes!"

The mixed extra point was crucial. The miss led to the 4th and 2 "go for it" decision, instead of attempting a 40 yard field goal, (which if good puts us up by 16.)

Carter sure came through in the clutch, pulling his version of "The Drive"! Not quite John Elway's 98 yard playoff drive (Broncos at Browns), but still a great comeback!

Rock Chalk!

Dirk Medema 2 years, 3 months ago

Edward - Interesting that you bring up the 4th down play vs FG. That was an interestingly aggressive failure that might have resulted in comment flogging in the past, tho a W covers lots of errors.

I would suggest to you though that being up by 4, 5, or 6 is all the same and significantly better than 3. The latter allows a FG to tie the game while the former forces the opponent to try for TDs. Also, being up 5 or 6 is significantly better because it allows us to win with just a FG if the other team does score a TD.

Dirk Medema 2 years, 3 months ago

@Brett - You apparently missed the comments saying Carter was horrible and that Miles needed to reopen the QB competition. Just because you didn’t see it or remember it doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen.

Glad to see your analysis has come more inline with the coaches. Guessing they are right.

Randy Bombardier 2 years, 3 months ago

I think Carter needs to be more poised and will become more poised with confidence as he will get more confidence as coach shows confidence in him.

Would like to see him in shotgun rarely. I think he operates better under center.

Dale Rogers 2 years, 3 months ago

If that final drive is any indication, his poise is looking pretty good. Now for an entire game...

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